University of Oulu

Ylikoski, J. (2022). Čalbmi čalmmis ja suoldnečalmmit suoidnečalmmis: Sámegielaid singulatiivvat. Nordlyd, 46(1), 299–307.

Čalbmi čalmmis ja suoldnečalmmit suoidnečalmmis : sámegielaid singulatiivvat

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Author: Ylikoski, Jussi1
Organizations: 1Oulu universitehta ja Sámi allaskuvla
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
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Language: Northern Sami
Published: University of Tromsø, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-10-18


North Saami čalbmi ‘eye’ (< Proto-Uralic *ćilmä) has cognates in all Uralic languages, and everywhere they refer to the visual organs of humans and animals. However, scholars have barely paid attention to the grammatical functions of čalbmi in compound-like formations such as suoldnečalbmi “dew eye”, suoidnečalbmi “grass eye”, varračalbmi “blood eye”, jiekŋačalbmi “ice eye”, vuoktačalbmi “hair eye” and muorječalbmi “berry eye”. This article examines such expressions as so-called singulatives — grammatical means for individuating a single referent from a group or mass (i.e., ‘a single drop of dew’, ‘a single blade of grass’, ‘a single drop of blood’, ‘a single crystal of ice’, ‘a single human hair’ and ‘a single berry’). The article mainly discusses morphological, syntactic and semantic features of singulatives in North Saami and other present-day Saami languages, but comparable singulatives in Khanty, Mansi and Samoyed languages as well as in Hungarian suggest that singulative expressions such as *weri-ćilmä ‘a single drop of blood’, *jäŋi-ćilmä ‘a single crystal of ice; hailstone’ and *me̮rja-ćilmä ‘a single berry’ can, in principle, be reconstructed all the way back to Proto-Uralic.

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Series: Nordlyd
ISSN: 0332-7531
ISSN-E: 1503-8599
ISSN-L: 0332-7531
Volume: 46
Issue: 1
Pages: 299 - 307
DOI: 10.7557/12.6304
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 6121 Languages
Copyright information: © 2022 Jussi Ylikoski. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons “Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International”license.